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Picture In Your Mind

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Picture In Your Mind

Published 1948

Sent by the U.S. government as a participant in the Marshall Plan with a specific mission to assist the French in re-gearing their animation studios, Stapp discovered a Europe much-decimated by war, but in further danger of annihilation by nuclear weapons. Returning to the U.S., he produced this alarming-yet-hopeful film, replete with its lonely, Tanguy-inspired landscapes peopled with static figures casting long shadows across charcoal-colored plains. While taking the risk of leaning a bit toward didacticism, Stapp managed to urgently convey the thought that world destruction was not necessarily inevitable, provided that people embrace, rather than reject their cultural and racial differences. ‘Picture’ is a unique document resulting from the sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish vision of the artist in a war-torn land, with the spectre of death hovering ever-so-slightly ahead. Visit Philip Stapp's AFA webpage at

Run time 16 minutes
Producer Philip Stapp
Production Company International Film Foundation
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information


Reviewer: kerriganm - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 15, 2017
Subject: An abstracted film about... prejudice? Kind of?
A film with pictures of plants and fish and abstracted pictures of trees and people and all sorts of what-nots. The text often seems abstract, too, with seeming random words thrown about. The filmmaker eventually gets around to prejudice, and the message is eventually that you oughtn't be prejudiced. So- "What can one man do?!" he asks repeated. And does not answer. In my opinion, the artist uses art (visuals and text) to obscure rather than elucidate his message. The style shown in the film was edgy and trendy at the time. Don't care for it much, myself.
Reviewer: audibleobsession - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 20, 2010
Subject: Excellent Quality, very Inspirational!
Lately I've been coming on for musical inspiration, playing along to some of these fantastic old movies. The quality is excellent and there's is some amazingly creative illustrations. Definitely a 5 star!!

I created a soundscape to part of the movie and uploaded the result on YouTube.

Powerful stuff!
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